Adobe Connect: what "grown ups" choose
February 20, 2014

Adobe Connect: what "grown ups" choose

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review

Software Version

Version 7, 8, 9, 9.1, 9.2

Modules Used

  • Training (LMS)
  • Meeting
  • Events
  • Mobile
  • Seminar Rooms
  • Burst Packs
  • MP4 Conversion Packs
  • Hosted
  • On-Premise
  • Private Cloud Managed Services

Overall Satisfaction with Adobe Connect

I consult with organizations that are selecting solutions for e-learning, webinar, and collaboration use cases. These are often point needs within particular departments, but are occasionally enterprise wide needs. Typical problems that compel people to consider Adobe Connect, include a desire for greater engagement, ease of use, and higher levels of impact -- to address use cases that have in the past required travel or been met by other solutions that didn't work well. What this means is that Adobe Connect is often a product the people "trade up" to when they've used something "flatter" or a product with low cost but lower levels of performance in the past. With Connect, use cases, such as classrooms, can be completely put on-line -- allowing for break-out sessions, mobile user involvement, multiple facilitator situations, and webinar use cases can keep higher percentage of audiences engaged with content for the full event. This, typically, has a very high ROI and is considered desirable.
  • Hands down, the best Virtual Classroom - Connect is unparalleled in its use here. From breakout rooms, to an unlimited selection of audio providers, to multiple presenters and hosts, to tools that you need as a professional facilitator -- Connect is the "grown ups' choice" for virtual classroom. If your use case involves live Virtual Classroom, you should be using Adobe Connect.
  • Product openness and extensibility -- Competing products are "walled gardens": they only let you use the features that the product manager wants you to have. Adobe Connect, because it is built using an open architecture, lets you create your own components that you can easily create and integrate. Whether these are high end simulations that mimic operational equipment, high definition videos you want to play, or applications that provide interactive experiences for your audience, anything you can conceive, you can create and use as part of your Adobe Connect rooms.
  • Ubiquitous performance - Adobe Connect runs everywhere without painful port opening, extension enabling, or other IT issues. Desktop users don't have to do any big client downloads, and mobile support is enabled through free app-store downloads -- allowing folks to lead and participate from wherever they are. As a facilitator, I can prepare my content in my Adobe Connect room, then travel on vacation next week -- without taking a laptop with me -- and deliver my content using a hotel computer across the world. Or, perhaps I am stuck in an airport -- I can lead my entire session from my iPhone or Android tablet. This freedom to lead and participate from anywhere on any device is extraordinary.
  • Easy -- Ease of use is huge. Participants get links they click on -- and immediately enter rooms - no downloads, no muss, no fuss. Hosts build meeting rooms -- which they can use over and over and refine. For those of us who do presentations, webinars, and classes professionally, this is an enormous benefit. We can build rooms that are specific to what we wish to communicate and hone them to be profoundly effective. Moreover, we can template these and build fresh ones using that content, and we can simply re-use our rooms with no further preparation time, over and over again. In contrast -- competing products make you enter your meeting area right before your meeting and prepare your content at that time. This usually means that if you are using a competing product, you end up wasting loads of time and, frankly, you are not building much interactivity and impact into your sessions because you have to do so every time you want to conduct a session.
  • Integration -- There is no product that plays better with others than Adobe Connect. This makes the product so useful and flexible that you might say that Connect is the "swiss army knife" in the space. Connect has a super easy to use interface for people who just want to get in and do something. It also has a fully exposed set of Application Programming Interfaces (API) that let you build whatever you want on top of connect (some organizations have completely built their own context appropriate front end on top of Connect, using the raw Connect functionality underneath to power their application.) This means you can have Connect fully integrated with your enterprise IT infrastructure -- using Single Signon, customization of user experience, and branding -- and if you are technical, you can do this all yourself. These are huge differentiators compared to the flatter products on the market that want you to use the service only in the primary delivery modality their product manager conceived.
  • Many Deployment Options -- You can deploy Connect any way you want. Most people just want a low cost, reliable-enough platform to use. Adobe Connect's multi-tenant hosted service fits there. Others want high levels of integration with their own LMS systems, Salesforce, Marketo, other enterprise systems, reporting systems, etc. Adobe Connect on Premise or Adobe Connect Managed Service deployments fit there. yet other clients require FEDRAMP and HIPAA levels of security. Adobe Connect Managed Service and other Adobe Connect Private Cloud deployment strategies meet those requirements. Try taking the above list to any competing vendor and watch the expression on their face. Most deploy their products only in one way -- take it or leave it. With Adobe Connect, you have the full range of choices available to you.
  • High touch resellers-Unlike most other products in the market, Adobe Connect is sold through resellers. This means that there are real people, located on the same continent as you, who speak your language who can help you select and implement your product. When I used competing, flatter products -- the service side was flatter, too. I bought those competing products on the web, I had to figure everything out myself, and God help me if I actually wanted to talk to a human being to get help. Because Adobe Connect is sold regionally by resellers like GetConnect with long history and deeply experienced people, this means that you get a successful program, not just a product.
  • Adobe Connect is very deep and very broad. It is not for someone who is looking for a simple chat client. Occasionally I will find someone who wants just one button to push to make the product go. Adobe Connect isn't like that. It is the "grown ups' product" and it has very deep capabilities.
  • Adobe Connect is modular -- each module has a specific function that maps to use case business needs. This depth is often a little confusing at first, because each module has its own learning curve. At the end of the day, it is a very good thing, but you need to plan a little time to get familiar with what the modules you have purchased do, because they are deep.
  • Adobe Connect has the ability to do quite advanced, powerful things. The flip side of this is that you need to be an adult about choosing what you are going to inflict on your audience. For example, you can conduct very highly engaging sessions with interactive elements that are respectful of your audience's bandwidth. Or you can be an absolute boor and force your audience to need a 1 Meg internet connection to have a good experience. But you need to be an adult and make good choices. In a way, this is the flip side of power -- you have to use it responsibly. Other products that don't do very much solve this problem quite differently -- they prevent you from doing anything substantive that could consume too much bandwidth. Of course, that is a primary reason people move up to Adobe Connect -- because they want something better.
  • Travel Avoidance: Because of Adobe Connect's quality and breadth of features, activities usually relegated strictly to classrooms, including skill practices, small group breakouts, and moderated individual work, can all be accomplished with Adobe Connect. This takes the typical travel Avoidance ROI rationale and puts it on steroids -- when you realize you don't need to go anywhere anymore and still can do a great job.
  • Time to productivity: Adobe Connect lets you reach your audiences at time of need, reducing time to productivity. Many customers with high growth and high turnover environments (call centers, customer support, seasonal needs, ACA scale up initiatives at BCBS organizations, to name a few) have found that by using Adobe Connect you can meet the need for knowledge transfer much faster -- and this reduced time to productivity has a big impact in gained productivity and avoided costs.
  • Other solutions waste a bunch of time. For example, because Adobe Connect uses "persistent rooms" (the rooms you build stay just as you left them) you never have to waste your time re-building before a meeting. People generally find this saves them 5 - 15 minutes, personally, per meeting. That is time you can be using to conduct another meeting.
  • Participants don't have to download things to participate. This is huge. Many times, with other products people slot a hour meeting but plan only 45 or 50 minutes of content because they aren't sure how long it will take their participants to download the plug ins, install everything, and get through security hoops. Consider what the COST of that is in an organization using a product all day long -- if everyone at every meeting has, essentially 10 minutes in every hour where they're waiting for the meeting to be ready. that is EXPENSIVE. With Adobe Connect, you hit the meeting link and bam -- you're in the session. This gives you the full hour for your one hour meetings.
  • WebEx Meetings,GoToMeeting
Adobe Connect is deeper, more engaging, easier to use, and just works a lot better. It also serves many use cases, whereas WebEx and GoTo require you to purchase different product so serve different use cases. WebEx licensing can be painful, as they often try to make you purchase the product for the whole organization, incurring unnecessary cost. GoTo product often have performance issues that make you regret that you bought something so cheap.
Virtual Classroom- Adobe Connect is, hands down, the top choice
Webinar - for audiences where you desire high impact, highly engaging webinars and need strong analytics, Adobe Connect is a great choice
Integrated solution needs - If you want your product set to be integrated with other enterprise functions, choose Adobe Connect -- the full set of API's and modular nature of the product will let you build something that fits quite well.
Scalable, global, delivery needs - Because of multiple delivery models (multi-tenant hosted, on-premise, Managed service) you can scale your deployment and position it geographically where you need it. You can start small and build. You can meet very high security and integration requirements.

Using Adobe Connect

The longer you use Adobe Connect, the longer you are likely to use it. Because you can build more and more resources over time, creating rooms that you re-use, recorded content you can repurpose, and tools that form the basis of ever increasing productivity, the more you use Connect, the more productive you become. Unlike competing products where, with every meeting you essentially start over -- setting up your resources for each meeting -- in my Connect rooms, I have highly tuned tools to accomplish my knowledge transfer goals. When I want to conduct another session - I send a link out to the appropriate room and instantly we are all focusing on getting a job done together. This ability of Adobe Connect to make you productive at an ever quickening rate is a competitive advantage.